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Exciting finishes make weekend worthwhile

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Posted: Sunday November 28, 1999 08:10 PM

  Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer is carried by Shayne Graham and Jimmy Kibble after the Hokies beat Boston College, 38-14. AP

By Rich Loup, CNN/SI

Quality, not quantity, marked the football weekend.

Virginia Tech made a convincing argument for the No. 2 spot in the BCS rankings with a 38-14 whipping of Boston College Friday. Simultaneously, Nebraska blew a 24-point lead and held on for a 33-30 victory. Only the computers can stop the Hokies' path to the Sugar Bowl.

The Nebraska-Colorado thriller, the Georgia-Georgia Tech shootout, and the emotional comeback of Texas A&M against Texas were all games their fans won't forget anytime soon. And don't forget about the exciting conclusion of the Egg Bowl between Mississippi and Mississippi State on Thanksgiving Day.

In all, college football fans can give thanks for an exciting three days.
Week 14 Recaps
(2) Virginia Tech 38, (22) Boston College 14
Review Key Stat
Game Recap
Game Summary
178-31: Margin Virginia Tech has outscored ranked teams this season.
Player of the Game
Michael Vick, QB, Virginia Tech. Completed 11 of 13 passes for 290 yards and ran for another 76.
Virginia Tech's dominating victory should end the BCS discussion, particularly since No. 3 Nebraska squeaked by unranked Colorado. The Hokies did what they needed to do Friday: get ahead big early, let the crowd get involved and put the game away. Any questions about Virginia Tech's legitimacy should also be answered by their effort against ranked teams this season.
(3) Nebraska 33, Colorado 30
Review Key Stat
Game Recap
Game Summary
27-3: Nebraska's lead before a furious Colorado fourth-quarter rally.
Player of the Game
Dan Alexander, RB, Nebraska. Rushed for a career-high 180 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries.
No. 3 Nebraska won the game, but it may not matter after a blowout victory turned into a nailbiting overtime win. The Cornhuskers needed a big triumph, but they would have lost had Colorado kicker Jeremy Aldrich not missed a 34-yard kick on the final play of regulation. Credit Alexander's tough running in the extra period for salvaging the victory. The Huskers now need a win against Texas next week and a "new math" BCS boost to have any chance at the national title.
(6) Tennessee 38, Vanderbilt 10
Review Key Stat
Game Recap
Game Summary
17: Consecutive Tennessee victories in the series and consecutive losing seasons for Vanderbilt.
Player of the Game
Travis Henry, RB, Tennessee. Rushed for 153 yards before injuring his neck in the second quarter.
Vanderbilt's bowl hopes were dashed as Tennessee picked apart the Commodores' defense for 476 yards. Freshman Onterrio Smith took up the slack in Henry's absence by rushing for a pair of touchdowns and the Volunteers ran for 315 yards. The victory improves the Volunteers' hopes for a BCS bowl bid. Conversely, Vanderbilt remains without a bowl appearance since 1982.
(24) Texas A&M 20, (7) Texas 16
Review Key Stat
Game Recap
Game Summary
86,128: Friday's crowd, the largest to see a game in the state of Texas.
Player of the Game
Ja'Mar Toombs, RB, Texas A&M. Rushed for a career-high 126 yards on 37 carries and scored two touchdowns.
For Aggies fans, Friday's game salvaged some happiness from a somber two weeks. Strong running by Toombs and an inspired halftime talk from coach R.C. Slocum spurred Texas A&M, which rallied from a 16-6 halftime deficit. Texas played most of the game without QB Major Applewhite , who suffered from the flu. Applewhite appeared in the fourth quarter in relief of Chris Simms , who struggled in the second half after an adequate first half.
(12) Marshall 34, Ohio 3
Review Key Stat
Game Recap
Game Summary
30: Number of consecutive home victories for Marshall.
Player of the Game
Chad Pennington, QB, Marshall. Completed 25 of 37 passes for 378 yards and three touchdowns.
The Thundering Herd completed a perfect regular season by spanking the Bobcats. Marshall rolled up 500 offensive yards as its offense was powered by Pennington and RB Doug Chapman , who broke Randy Moss' school record with his 55th touchdown. Marshall heads to next week's MAC title game against Western Michigan with a Motor City Bowl bid on the line.
(20) Georgia Tech 51, (16) Georgia 48
Review Key Stat
Game Recap
Game Summary
1,102: Combined offensive yardage in the game.
Player of the Game
Dez White, WR, Georgia Tech. Caught nine passes for 165 yards and a touchdown while being Joe Hamilton's only legitimate target for a good part of the game.
A tremendously wacky game that featured one unpredictable turn after another. Georgia will surely point to a controversial fumble call as a ruling that cost the Bulldogs the game. But who's to say Georgia Tech would not have blocked a game-winning field-goal attempt, just as Georgia blocked Luke Manget's first try in overtime? This game exceeded its billing in one of the great contests in recent memory, maybe ever.
LSU 35, (17) Arkansas 10
Review Key Stat
Game Recap
Game Summary
411: Total offensive yards for LSU.
Player of the Game
Rohan Davey, QB, LSU. Rondell Mealey was solid on the ground, but Davey ignited the Tigers' offense when he entered the game in the second quarter.
How about Hal Hunter for head coach at LSU? The Tigers' offensive line/interim head coach had to be proud of an offense that had a great balance Friday and ended LSU's eight-game losing streak. Arkansas' Cotton Bowl hopes shrank as their road woes grew. The Razorbacks ended the season 4-4 in the SEC with all four losses on the road.
(18) Mississippi State 23, (23) Mississippi 20
Review Key Stat
Game Recap
Game Summary
17: Number of fourth-quarter points for Mississippi State.
Player of the Game
Scott Westerfield, K, Mississippi State. Another clutch kicking performance with three field goals, including the game-winner from 44 yards.
Mississippi State has made a habit of pulling out thrilling finishes in '99, but this one takes the cake, er, Egg Bowl. The Bulldogs trailed 20-13 before scoring 10 points in 23 seconds during the final minute. Mississippi helped MSU's cause as QB Romaro Miller threw a costly interception after the Bulldogs tied the game with 27 seconds remaining in the game. In hindsight, Rebels coach David Cutcliffe would kneel on the ball and go to overtime instead of his team winding up with egg on its face.
USC 45, (25) Louisiana Tech 19
Review Key Stat
Game Recap
Game Summary
12,746: Louisiana Tech QB Tim Rattay's career passing yardage, second all-time.
Player of the Game
Chad Morton, RB, USC. Ran for three touchdowns as the Trojans notched their third consecutive victory.
Louisiana Tech's first appearance in the Top 25 won't last long after the Bulldogs were hammered in the Los Angeles Coliseum. Morton led a balanced rushing attack as USC notched its third consecutive victory to salvage a 6-6 season. Tim Rattay's brilliant career likely ended with the 8-3 Bulldogs probably staying home instead of going to a bowl.

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